Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Insomnium - One For Sorrow

Band: Insomnium
Album: One For Sorrow
Year: 2011
Country: Finland
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

The Finnish melodic death metal scene just doesn't do very much for me. Whether its Omnium Gatherum, Mors Principium Est and up until this album Insomium. But One For Sorrow is a bit better than the rest, including Omnium Gatherum's album New World Shadows that came out earlier this year.

If I were to describe Insomnium on One For Sorrow I would say they sound like a slower In Flames (Pre-Clayman) with a focus on doom and gloom type riffs and atmosphere. In fact the guitar harmonies are straight up what you would expect to hear off of Colony or Whoracle. This isn't bad though, it might not be very original but In Flames always were my favorite with how well done the harmonies were. Its easy to see that band was probably the biggest influence on Insomnium, listen through Only One Who Waits.

But the slower songs rule this album though. Lay the Ghost to Rest (which has great riffs), One For Sorrow, and Inertia all exude the slower more depressing kind of sound that Insomnium are well known for. Not to mention the instrumental Decoherence which is an extension of that sound but even darker and softer.

The one thing I do enjoy about these bands from Finland though is the vocals. They completely drop the higher pitched growls that the Swedish bands make such heavy use of and go for a lower more obvious death metal tone. There are some clean vocals here but they are used sparingly and done very well. Its not really that the cleans are even that good as far as vocal quality is concerned, but that they are put into parts of songs where they add another dimension to it all.

The only real complaint I have is the thing that most people seem to enjoy about this band. The whole sad/depressing sound does get a little tiring. The songs are good but that atmosphere isn't as well done as I have heard on other albums, Mirrorworlds by Eucharist being the most obvious example. Though if you enjoy that sound as many people seem to it won't bother you at all like it does me.

One For Sorrow is a really solid album with great melodies and harmonies. The dark sound is interesting but it kind of became tiring to me. The vocals, both clean and harsh, are really well done and I enjoy hearing the guttural style that Niilo Sevanen uses. This has become probably one of my favorite releases from a Finnish melodeath band.

Score: 8.5/10
Standout Track: Regain the Fire, Through the Shadows, Only One Who Waits

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